Khawaja signs on for three more years

Aussie batter and Sydney Thunder foundation player extends contract until end of BBL|09.

The longest Sydney Thunder career has been extended by a further three years with Usman Khawaja signing on until the end of BBL|09.

The left-hand batter has played 21 matches for the KFC BBL club between his international cricket commitments, highlighted by two unbeaten centuries in the Thunder's BBL|05 championship year.

Khawaja did not make an appearance for Thunder last summer, but said he appreciated the opportunities he had to get back to the club where he has scored 819 runs at an average of 51.18 since the league's inception.

Khawaja sparkles with super 70

"I've been here since the first game and always enjoyed it, especially the last few years," he said. "The guys are good every time I go back and its very fun, very chilled out and they're all good people. When you put that together it makes for good cricket."

The 30-year-old first-drop bat has enjoyed a strong start to the JLT Sheffield Shield series, making 217 runs across four innings at an average of 72.33, including a century against Victoria in the season-opener.

Khawaja compiles Shield century in Brisbane

Khawaja said he was looking forward to again linking up with Thunder captain Shane Watson at the BBL club.

"I love playing with Watto, I've played with him a lot over the years and really enjoyed it," Khawaja said.

"We both go about our cricket in a very similar way.

"I'm just enjoying my cricket, whether its playing Grade, for Queensland, the Thunder or Australia. It would be nice to come back and get some wins and hopefully win another trophy."

Khawaja has made 51 international appearances across all formats scoring 2,438 runs for Australia since making his debut against England in the 2010-11 Ashes.

Sydney Thunder director of cricket Michael Hussey said he was pleased to have Khawaja on board again.

Usman Khawaja in action for Sydney Thunder // Getty
Usman Khawaja in action for Sydney Thunder // Getty

"Usman's been at the club since its formation, he's obviously a classy player and a real leader in the team," Hussey said.

"It's always a balancing act seeing how much he'll be around, but we've seen how much impact he can have playing a limited number of games. I'm absolutely delighted that he's committed his future to the club."

Thunder BBL|07 squad: Shane Watson (c), Aiden Blizzard, Pat Cummins, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Jay Lenton, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell McClenaghan, Clint McKay, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu.